Chance me for Biotech/Biology/Biomed major at T30 and others

Please chance a rising high-school senior (class of 2023). Interested in Biology oriented program - not sure about specifics but interested in Biotech/Biochem/Biomed. Have aspirations for Dental/Public Health professions as well but am not sure right now, want to decide during my undergrad program (possibility for a pre-dental/pre-medical major). Please suggest some target colleges - TIA.

Demographics

  • US domestic: US citizen
  • State/Location of residency: New-England
  • Type of high school: Large public school
  • Gender/Race/Ethnicity: Female; South Asian
  • Other special factors (first generation to college, legacy, athlete, etc.): N/A

Intended Major(s): Biotechnology, Biology, Biomedical Engineering, or Public Health
(Depending on the availability will apply for one of the above majors possibly with Data Science as a minor)

GPA, Rank, and Test Scores

  • Unweighted HS GPA: 3.95
  • Weighted HS GPA (incl. weighting system): 4.96
    (weightage: An A in an AP weigh at 5 with A+ at 5.3; for honors, it is weighed at 4.8/5)
  • Class Rank: 10 out of 450
  • ACT/SAT Scores: 1500 (taking one more time in Aug)

Coursework
AP’s: 11 by end of high school; 8 as of now; 2 dual-enrollment college courses in Biotech; all other courses are Honors. AP’s: Calculus AB/BC, Stats, Physics 1, Chemistry, Biology, Psychology, Micro Economics, World History, English Lit, and Computer Science.
AP scores are mostly 4’s with a couple 3’s - AP Scholar with Distinction.
Level of Math: Calculus BC (completed)
Foreign Language: Spanish 4
College Courses: 2 courses in Biotechnology in a local univ (both A’s in 101/102 level courses)

Awards

US Presidential Service Gold
Science Olympiad state level competition wins
AP Scholar with Distinction
Entrepreneurial program (state level) award for best project presentation
Selected to a couple of moderately competitive summer programs (relevant to health technology)
Member of NHS, Math Honor Society, Science Honor Society

Extracurriculars
(Include leadership, summer activities, competitions, volunteering, and work experience)
School Clubs:
NHS President
Key Club Secretary
Science Olympiad - Officer
Varsity team member: Tennis, Math Club, Sciencebowl and Science Olympiad, DECA.

Outside School:
Classical musical vocal for 10+ years - performed in regional level competitions/programs - won a few awards but nothing significant - singing is something I enjoy.
Dance for 10+ years - local events
Red-Cross volunteer - 4 years
volunteering - mostly in public health/hospital environments

Internships/Summer Programs/Jobs:
Paid internship at the local government Health department (competitive selection)
Summer Program at a T-10 college - this free project-based summer program selection is competitive.
Shadow/summer job: Dental shadow for 150hrs
2 more summer programs in Entrepreneurship - both are project-based and I did projects on health technology (use of AI in dental diagnosis). Both programs were online because of Covid with virtual mentoring by Biotech founders.

Essays/LORs/Other
(Optionally, guess how strong these are and include any other relevant information or circumstances.)
Essays - Haven’t yet started.
LOR’s: math teacher (will be strong 8/10); science teacher (will be strong - took multiple classes with her and volunteered to peer-tutor in her classs - 8/10); guidance counselor - average; optional humanities teacher - above average 7/10. My summer job manager offered to give me a letter but I may not use it.

Cost Constraints / Budget
(High school students: please get a budget from your parents and use the Net Price Calculators on the websites of colleges of interest.)
No constraints

Schools
Possible ED: Dartmouth or Cornell
EA: Northeastern (Bioeng), GeorgiaTech(Biomed), UIUC, UMass, UMd, Pitt
Regular: JHU(Public Health), Emory, Swarthmore, Vanderbilt, Rice, Tufts(Biotech), BU

Any other good Biotech programs that I should apply ?

If you are likely going to grad school, take advantage of your #s and save $$. Where you go will matter less.

You can go to Alabama or Arizona for under $20k, this being set up for grad school or other publics, including Umass for a lower price.

As for targets why not seek out merit. What do you like size , location wise? An LAC or midsize ? City / rural / urban ??

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Thanks for the reply.
Open to seeking merit; in terms of size/location: prefer mid-size in rural or suburban (but no strong opinion on either of these factors; think I will be fine in either type)

Can you share a little more about your school? Have you taken the hardest courseload possible? How many kids get into Top schools? Your list seems reach heavy to me; more information may help with chancing.

Again don’t know where you want to be but Miami of Ohio sounds like it might fit and would likely prep you well. That’s just one of many. But need to know more. U Del too

There’s not gonna to be a significant advtg from a top school. Their outcomes will be better as they have top students but look at Ivy med schools you have plenty from your Boise and South Dakota State level schools.

Took the hardest course load (school offers 18 APs including multiple foreign languages, based on the required pre-req’s a student can take a max of 11 or 12 APs).

The school does well in admissions with top-20 rank students having multiple T-20 admits (though there are some surprises every year, in general, 20-30 students from our school end up getting at least one or two reach-for-everyone type admits).

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Thought of adding: my college list is tentative, know that it is reach-heavy (may take out a few colleges). Want to know of any good Biotech/Bioengineering schools that prepare me well for a possible dental/medical school admission and/or a master’s program to get into the biotech industry. Open to any suggestions.

Ok, in that case I think your chances are around the same or slightly above the average applicant, given your high rigor and school record. So, your chances would be the same or slightly higher than the published rate for dartmouth, cornell ED and JHU and other reaches regular.

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All of the schools on your list will prepare you well for medicine or Biotech, presuming you work hard and keep a high gpa(for premed), as will many more colleges! So you are covered there, as far as career preparation.

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Keep your eye on the prize. If you stick with premed, then getting to a good medical school is key. Where you get your bachelor’s matters a lot less. My understanding is that pre-dental is similar, although I do not know as much about it. A lot of universities have really good premed programs.

You need to be able to pay for 8 years of university. It would be far better if you can do this with as little debt as possible. You should try to take on exactly no debt at all for your bachelor’s degree if this is possible (if this is not possible, then take on as little debt as you can). Even better would be leaving some significant amount of $$$$ in your college fund to pay for dental or medical school. It would not surprise me at all if by the time that you get to medical school it might cost $100,000 per year.

Also, many, many students who start off pre-med end up doing something different. Attending a university that is good for a wide variety of majors is a good plan.

To me all of this means that looking at your in-state public university is a very good idea.

If you are from Massachusetts, then U.Mass Amherst has a very good premed program. If you are from Vermont, then UVM has a very good premed program. If you are from New Hampshire, then ditto but at UNH. UVM also has a hospital either on-campus or exceptionally close to campus which is helpful to get experience. I am not as sure about the other two schools (I did not happen to see a hospital when we toured – we have toured all three at least twice each).

I understand that your stats put you way above what is needed to get into these universities in-state. However, your stats are likely to bring you some merit money in-state. Probably more importantly, premed classes will be very tough at any of these very good public universities. You will be surprised how strong the competition is at any of these universities. You will be surprised how tough your exams will be. Your superb stats from high school will help you a lot in terms of being ready for the very tough course load at any good university.

I am assuming that pre-dental classes overlap with premed classes. One daughter is currently in a DVM program and her pre-vet classes did overlap a great deal with premed classes. My other daughter was a bio major and is currently doing biotech research. As such both daughters had quite a few classes that overlapped with premed classes. Even at the “U.Mass, UVM, UNH” level, there will be classes full of very strong students where the class average on the midterm exam is in the 40’s or 50’s. The kids who get 80’s on these exams are going to have a leg up on getting into a good medical school.

Of course pre-vet experience, pre-cancer-research experience, premed experience, and pre-dental experience are going to be quite different. You will need to get a lot of experience in whatever field you settle on. To me there seems to be plenty of time to think about this. As one example, it is not unusual for students to take a gap between completing their bachelor’s and applying to medical / dental / DVM programs, and during that gap quite a bit of experience can be gained.

Dartmouth College and Cornell University will get a higher percentage of their graduates into a good medical school, as will the other top schools on your list. It is not clear how much of this is due to the caliber of the high school graduates who attend these universities in the first place.

I would focus on finding a good fit and saving money. Finding a good fit is not easy. Visits to the schools are useful for this purpose. In many cases you can get tours and get to talk to a faculty member, which might help. I think that both daughters got to sit in on classes which might help also.

I think that you are doing very well and are likely to continue to do very well. As a former math major I am pleased to see that you are in the Math Honor Society.

I might add: If you are premed / pre-dental and therefore saving money is important, then ED might not be a good idea. Applying anywhere ED takes away your ability to compare offers from multiple universities.

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This is spot on. The conversation needs to happen with the folks up front. If u can spend $20k a year do they want to spend $80k? If the answer is no, take all no merit aid schools off the list.

Thanks for great info.

Keep your eye on the prize.

Understand that I have to do some homework and decide on what career-path I want to go. Leaning Pre-Dental or Biotech as of now - that is why targeting universities that are good for a variety of majors.

If you are from Massachusetts, then U.Mass Amherst
Agree and I am applying there for sure. About the cost - UMass Amherst is good value for instate tuition. Based on my seniors experience - they dont really give much of merit aid for instate students - max I heard is 3k (which I may be eligible based on MCAS score history). If I get into Honors college at UMass, I will consider it strongly - heard lot of great things.

Thanks again for great info and sharing your thoughts.

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Some schools you might want to consider include for likelier or safeties include:

  • Lehigh (PA )
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic (NY)
  • Rochester Institute of Technology (NY)
  • Syracuse (NY)
  • Endicott (MA)
  • Bucknell (PA )
  • Union (NY)
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you should really consider Cornell - with your stats and interests (Public Health/Data Science) their Bowers School of CIS and Human Ecology could be really good fits for you - and Cornell is all about fit (my daughter graduated CALS and loved it there!)

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Thanks - good to know about Cornell. About Cornell, I always get confused about which specific college do I apply. Based on my interest in Public Health with Data Science - do I have to apply to: College of Human Ecology, CALS, College of Science or Bowers.

Based on descriptions/majors there is overlap -since admit rates seems different, wondering if I plan to target a specific college (among the colleges where I can design my major around my interest). Any other tips.
TIA

There is definitely overlap between some schools, and you can be admitted for your major in one school but do your minor from courses in another - which really gives you the full breadth of all the school has to offer. Human Ecology would seem right if your interests/ECs are more Public Health and then you could minor with classes from Bowers or CoE. But if the bulk of your interest is Data Science then maybe you’d want to apply to Bowers, CALS or CoE. IDK what the admit rate for Bowers is like, but CoE is quite competitive (my daughter had friends in engineering), CALS is more competitive for non-NYers and people say the College of Human Ecology has a more generous admit rate - but not to use it as a back door entry thinking it will be easier to get in through - if you don’t show “fit” for the programs in CHE admissions will see through that.

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